Science & Technology Research Programme & Science Symposium 2016
As part of SZCOE (Science) outreach programme, Zhonghua Secondary School (ZHSS) hosted our 7th Science and Technological Symposium on 24 March 2016, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Symposium showcased the scientific research work that our students had done in collaboration with Nanyang Polytechnic under the joint Science and Technology Research Programme. They had the opportunity to be guided by the lecturers from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and the teacher mentors from ZHSS.
The research projects that were on display were:
- Drug Formulation
- Cosmeutical Development
- Cell Culture and Fermentation
- Assistive Biomedical Device
- How Germy is your Mobile Phone?
- Dye-Sensitised Solar Cells with Fruit and Vegetable Dye
- Antibacterial Properties of Snail Slime
- Additive Manufacturing Technology
- Robotics Technology – Strategies for Sumo Robot Battles
- Game Analytics
The theme for this year is “Integrate, Inquire and Inspire – “Zotikos" which represents the importance of integrating knowledge, attitude and concept of science, having and inquiring mind to solve scientific problems and inspiring the new generation of students to be scientists. This year’s theme also includes the ancient Greek word “Zotikos” which means “full of life”. This word will serve as a focal point of this year’s symposium to inspire the participants to view of science as a body of knowledge that is constantly changing. This change is brought about by man’s innate desire to understand the world around them and this desire can and will only be sustained if one has an undying passion to improve the world through science.
The keynote speaker for this year is Ms Wong Woei Jiuang, Medical Device Director, Health Science Authority who shared her experience as a regulator on medical devices. It was insightful for the students to be able to appreciate the thoughts and processes that a regulator goes through before a medical product (e.g. contact lenses) is permitted to be sold to the public. Students were also acquainted with the educational qualifications and skills that they should possess in order to be a regulator.
Here are some of the reflections by the research students after the Science Symposium:
The Science and Technology project was an eye-opening and enriching programme for all of us. Our project 'Drug Formulation' was a brand new topic to us as initially none of us really knew how drugs are formulated. We gradually got to know more about the topic through our research and experiments. The knowledge gained in the process was very insightful. Furthermore, we got to understand one another better and also learnt how to work with each other through this one-year project as it required a high level of communication and cooperation with one another. Our group also gained public speaking skills as we presented our findings to our fellow schoolmates during the Science Symposium. Besides that, even though there were difficulties that our group faced along the way, we managed to overcome them together.
The equipment that we also had the opportunity to use, like the granulation equipment, allowed us to gain exposure to the process of tablet formulation and encapsulation. Throughout the one-year journey of this project, we have gained not just knowledge and exposure, but also soft skills that can be applied to our daily lives. The friendships forged along the way also hold a special place in our hearts.
Ong Jhee Yee, Eunice Gan, Wong Zea Ting and Quek Zong Jin
Drug Formulation Research Team (Sec-4 Express, 2016)
This Science and Technology research experience was a fun and enriching one. We did not know each another at first, but through working together as a group to complete our given project, we got to know more about one another and forge stronger friendships during the past year.
Our mentor wanted us to do more research on our own to learn and better understand how we would have to carry out our project. All these research allowed us to gain not only more scientific but also general knowledge, such things that we do not learn from our textbooks. We learnt how to plan experiments that were more reliable and not forgetting, how to do an actual science report. We also got to do hands-on experiments in the lab where we got to learn more about the various apparatus and machinery in the lab, most of which we did not have in our normal school labs.
Our mentor also constantly reminded us about the strict hygiene levels in the lab and that it could affect our experiments. It has also been a tiring experience, having to juggle the project with our school commitments. It was difficult to find a day where we were all free to meet up and go to Nanyang Polytechnic to do our experiments as we were all from different CCAs and classes, and had different schedules. Even during the November and December holidays, it was hard to find a common time for everyone to meet up to do up our report as some of us were either overseas or already had plans. Overall, this science and technology project has a great journey!
Mildred Ong, Zhang Hui Wen, Tan Hong Kai and Wu Yongyu
Genomic Toxicity of Nanoparticles Research Team (Sec-4 Express, 2016)
When we first signed up for the S&T project, we thought we would be in for just a typical Science group project like every other one we had been in. When we went for the Science Symposium, the previous Sec 4s shared their experiences during the project and we had a good impression about the project. The previous members who worked on Game Analytics were working with two very popular MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games: League of Legends and Dota 2, so naturally we were psyched to start. Alas, our group got a fairly tame puzzle game, Monomino, made by Nanyang Polytechnic students themselves, so we were admittedly disappointed. Nevertheless, we got on with things.
All of us picked up Python, a programming language to be used in our project. It was tricky to learn everything, and something cropped up with Jaedon’s programming software, whereas Ramses and Celest had trouble learning, so only Yuxuan could help us use the software, iPython Notebook. We worked on proving our hypothesis, preparing the report and powerpoint slides, etc., while communicating with our AEP group members to prepare the poster. A whole year went by and it was our turn to share our thoughts at the Symposium. Everyone sat somewhat uncomfortably through it in our blazers and ties and the project was soon over, seemingly in the blink of an eye.
We have learnt many things, such as Python itself, presentation skills, and the importance of teamwork and communication as a group, and responsibility. Overall, we had a fairly pleasant experience.
Jaedon Chua, Meng Yuxuan, Ramses Yap and Celest Poh
Game Analytics Research Team (Sec-4 Express, 2016)
This year’s Science Research Programme was really very enriching. I got a chance to experience for myself the arduous progress of testing, trying again and again, simply just to prove or disprove a hypothesis. My project focused on skin whitening products and on how they work. This improved my general knowledge of the darkening pigment in the human body, melanin. After this research programme, I got to understand the specific chemicals that are involved in producing melanin as well as the process of melanogenesis. I also got to enhance my secondary school knowledge of how enzyme and enzyme inhibition works and had to apply this knowledge during the experiments to prove or disprove the hypothesis.
Cosmeutical Development Research Team (Sec-4 Express, 2016)
After this Science and Technology project, we have learnt more about hands-on work in polytechnic as well as university research. This was definitely an eye opener for us as we got to know more about how to write a science report and present scientific findings. The Science Symposium was definitely an amazing one as this was the first time I attended a symposium as a presenter. As there were guests from other schools, we had to step out of our comfort zone and present our research work.
Seet Bo Xue Eddie
Cell Culture and Fermentation Research Team (Sec-4 Express, 2016)
It certainly has been an eye-opening experience to be able to handle laboratory equipment that are not usually made available to secondary school students, and through this research programme, I am very positive that all the research students had a chance to try out something rather different from our classroom-based lessons. During the Science Symposium, two of the best groups were privileged to present their research projects on the stage, but every group was still given the opportunity to present their individual group projects at their respective booths to the visitors. This programme has definitely allowed students to assume the role of both a scientist, as well as a presenter. At the same time the experience showed us that teamwork is important when it comes to doing projects like this.
Cell Culture and Fermentation Research Team (Sec-4 Express, 2016)
As a researcher in the S&T programme, I feel that it is really an eye-opening experience and I enjoyed my time spent in the research work. At the beginning of the research, I had little knowledge of robotics and did not know the complexity of science research. Our school provided us this good opportunity to learn beyond the syllabus. I really appreciate that. Although we faced many challenges and difficulties while making our robot, we coordinated and cooperated with each other. Last but not least, I am very grateful that I got such a good chance to learn more about science research and hope that future students who are doing the robotics research will do their best!
Liu Tian Qi
Robotics Technology – Strategies for Sumo Robot Battles Research Team (Sec-4 Express, 2016)